Where'd You Go, Bernadette(2013 Women's Prize for fiction formerly Orange Prize longlist)
If you're looking for something a little irreverent, look no further than Where'd You Go, Bernadette? by Maria Semple. This book is a scream. While it won't change the world, it will entertain you and the character of the unhinged Bernadette, stuck in suburban America, will resonate for those stuck in any suburb where mediocrity and fitting-in are the order of the day. The first part of the novel is more slapstick that anything else, but as the story progresses, Bernadette's life is far more complex and compelling than you would have imagined. - Stella
Bernadette Fox is notorious. To Elgie Branch, a Microsoft wunderkind, she's his hilarious, volatile, talented, troubled wife. To fellow mothers at the school gate, she's a menace. To design experts, she's a revolutionary architect. And to 15-year-old Bee, she is a best friend and, quite simply, mum. Then Bernadette disappears. And Bee must take a trip to the end of the earth to find her. Where'd You Go, Bernadette is a compulsively readable, irresistibly written, deeply touching novel about misplaced genius and a mother and daughter's place in the world.
The Curious Incident meets A Visit from the Goon Squad meets The Simpsons - this is a wildly imaginative, laugh-out-loud but also very poignant novel that will generate huge word-of-mouth buzz
'Maria Semple's Where'd You Go Bernadette is the book that comes closest to matching Jonathan Safran Foer's Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close. It's the highly charged story of a high achieving child, her genius Microsoft star employee father and her reclusive award-winning mother Bernadette. The family trip to Antarctica may well be their undoing. This is a hilarious novel with undoubtedly the pushiest parents ever captured in ink' -- Patrick Neale, Jaffe & Neale Bookshop THE BOOKSELLER
'Where'd You Go Bernadette by Maria Semple is an innovative comic novel. The eponymous Bernadette was once a great architect but has fallen into a cycle of agoraphobia and misanthropy in Seattle. She is a bitter character who despises most other people but she's actually quite charismatic. I found myself rooting for her, which is testament to Semple's accomplished style and characterisation' -- Ruth Hunter, Bertrams THE BOOKSELLER
'Where'd You Go, Bernadette is fresh and funny and accomplished, but the best thing about it was that I never had any idea what was going to happen next. It was a wild ride...' --Kate Atkinson
'A fresh, flamboyantly witty new voice Helen Fielding A delightfully funny book, that constantly catches one by surprise, Where'd You Go, Bernadette combines a shrewdly observed portrait of Seattle life with, of all things, a mysterious disappearance in Antarctica. A pleasure' --Matthew Kneale, author of English Passengers
'Maria Semple dissects the gory complexities of familial dysfunction with a deft and tender hand. Where'd You Go, Bernadette is a triumph of social observation and black comedy by a skillful chronicler of moneyed malaise.'--Patrick de Witt, author of The Sisters Brothers
Maria Semple worked in Los Angeles as a television writer for 15 years, working on hit shows including Ellen, Saturday Night Live, Mad About You and Arrested Development. She lives in Seattle.